Dear Suzie, im 13 and went through a steeimg fase last summer evan though it was ages ago, i still get worked up about it, i didnt get caught but im still worried. what should i do? please help x-x-x-x

Now, I don’t want to be difficult or funny or unsympathetic but we have a problem here. I don’t know what steeimg is. I know a lot, but not everything! So I looked it up on Urban Dictionary (which is really cool) and that didn’t know either.

I suspect you meant steaming – did you? And if you did, did you mean it in the sense of getting wankered, hammered, pissed, rat-arsed, fucked, nackered, poleaxed ie extremely drunk, inebriated or intoxicated? Or did you mean it in the sense of being in a large group of youths entering a mall, store or train or bus and shoplifting or mugging?

From the fact that you get worked up and spoke about getting caught, I suspect you meant going robbing. And you’re lucky you didn’t get caught, aren’t you? Even if you had been 12, you still would have got into real trouble if you had been arrested.

But the people you would have frightened and stolen from are probably still even more upset than you. I’m glad to hear you’ve grown up enough to realize what you did wasn’t funny and does need your consideration and remorse.

So the first thing you need to do is decide never, ever to do anything like this again, even if your friends try to drag you along to it. What could help is talking to someone who would be sympathetic and could help you find better ways of spending your time. And I’d say the same if I’ve got you wrong and it’s getting drunk that has worried you, BTW!

Look around for an adult you can trust – a family member or family friend, a youth worker or even a teacher. What might really set you up would be something to stretch your abilities and engage your interest in your spare time. Go to The Site for ideas. Have a look round your area for what’s on offer – youth clubs, sports clubs, whatever. Some of your friends may have decided they’re not cool; well, I can’t think of anything quite as uncool as being on a fast track to a dead end, and whether it’s robbing or getting pissed, that’s where steaming take you. Let me know how you get on. Good luck!

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